At some point in our professional lives, we’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s not about what you know, but rather whom you know.” Networking can go a long way toward ensuring our professional success, a fact that’s never been more apparent than in the age of LinkedIn.
Yet sometimes it feels as if we’ve forgotten that, while networking can open doors, having a robust and up-to-date skillset is the backbone to any successful career. In an interesting turn of events, it would seem that the world’s premiere professional networking site also wants the world to remember this balance.
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Why LinkedIn Acquired Lynda
In early April, LinkedIn made headlines when it purchased Lynda.com for $1.5 billion. Founded in 1995, Lynda is an online learning platform that offers thousands of training videos through a subscription service. The site allows for self-paced, focused learning related to business, technology, software and creative skills.
Image via Lynda
It’s still unclear how exactly Lynda’s courses will be integrated into LinkedIn profiles, but we can assume that this exciting merger will connect Lynda with thousands of new customers. There are plenty of reasons why this partnership makes sense for LinkedIn, including instant user base expansion, the ability to increase consumer engagement and possibly the fact that Lynda is highly profitable. And for those in the HR world, this development should be heralded as a potentially huge adaptation.
The truth is, people don’t search for jobs the way they used to. In fact, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently published a study that showed that roughly three-quarters of hires don’t even look for a job—the job finds them. It is becoming more common for employees to switch their job from being actively recruited by another company. The LinkedIn/Lynda merger could make it much easier for recruiters to find qualified candidates without having to go through a more traditional, time-consuming search process.
Connecting to Students
One of LinkedIn's goals is to attract college students to their site, specifically, college seniors about to enter the job market. By acquiring Lynda, LinkedIn is able to reach these students where they already are. Approximately 40 percent of college campuses work with Lynda as a way to reinforce lessons learned in class, or substitute in-class lectures with online ones. CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, explained his motives in an interview with Re/code, "The biggest focus area for students is going to be helping them to get their first job.” Lynda helps LinkedIn further situate the comany into the college market and make major strides towards accomplishing their goal.
Lynda's Relation to HR
LinkedIn has done a great job of helping professionals network and show off their skills on a surface level, but the partnership with Lynda could make the site a dramatically more valuable resource for all levels of workers. Taking on the online training space changes the network fundamentally, allowing it to interact more directly with users and become an integral part of their career arc. For those in HR, the takeaway is a more robust, competitive field of talent to choose from.
With this marriage of platforms, the role of those in HR, particularly in the talent and recruitment space, will no longer be to simply search and find the best candidates. Instead, we will now be able to leverage Lynda to actually develop potential candidates.
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Improvements for Recruiters
For recruiters, LinkedIn has become a go-to source for finding top-ranked candidates. It allows recruiters to select from a large pool of potential candidates and glean insights into their skillsets. Too often I run into the “nearly perfect” candidate. They have the experience, the cultural fit and the desire to move into the role I’m seeking to fill, but they happen to be lacking that singular piece of knowledge that is a must for the hiring manager. Soon, we’ll have an easy way to help guide these candidates toward such knowledge.
My gut tells me that LinkedIn will be doing plenty to help spur this initiative. By proactively communicating with members around what courses or knowledge will be needed in their respective industries, it is my hope that HR professionals will also be able to leverage this great collaboration. And if all goes well, LinkedIn won’t just be another site for job-searching—it will become an essential, daily stop for all professionals.
Article image via BidnessEtc.com